August 13, 2007

NOT THE LAST SET:

At 86, Brubeck keeps the Newport jazz festival jumping with surprises (Steve Greenlee, August 13, 2007, Boston Globe)

NEWPORT, R.I. -- News bulletin: Major theft this weekend at Fort Adams State Park during the JVC Jazz Festival. Description of subject: Elderly gentleman, white hair, thick glasses, walks and speaks slowly, but plays piano like a madman. Date of birth: 12-6-20. Item stolen: the show.

Yep, it happened again. Dave Brubeck, 86, plays the Newport jazz festival virtually every year, and every year he defies age and expectations, showing up nearly everyone around him. This is not intentional -- you couldn't ask for a nicer guy. It is merely the result of persistence of quality, the product of Brubeck's classy style, unchanged by time, unaffected by trends.

Had there been a roof at the festival, Brubeck would have torn it off. And the explosion came via an unexpected choice: "Unsquare Dance," a song from his 1961 album "Time Further Out." Brubeck's quartet -- which included saxophonist-flutist Bobby Militello, bassist Michael Moore, and drummer Dan Brubeck, his son, who sat in for Randy Jones, who is recuperating from stent surgery -- beefed up the odd-metered cool-bop tune and gave it a rough edge, thanks to the driving, rock-infused work of the substitute drummer. The mood-varying set included classical touches, the blues, ballads, and bop, and concluded with a version of "Take Five" (of course) that was almost entirely a drum solo.


Well, he ought to be good at it by now.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2007 10:42 AM
Comments

I like his sound better when he plays with his kid on drums. He seems to have more fun.

Posted by: ted welter at August 13, 2007 12:11 PM
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